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Outdoor & Nature

PATH FOR ALL - Orta San Giulio/Pella/Madonna del Sasso

Lago d'Orta
7,00 km
20 m
Difference in altitude
3-6 hours
Easy, Touristic


Minimum duration: 1 day
Difficulty of the route: low
Length of the route in km: 7 km

Orta San Giulio is a charming medieval village nestled on a peninsula that is reflected in Lake Orta, with its ancient buildings and numerous churches, in a succession of shops and small taverns. From Piazza Motta, the village's salon, with the 16th-century Palazzo della Comunità, the porticoed buildings and the magnificent view of the Island of San Giulio, to the gardens of Villa Bossi, in Legro, with its paintings on the facades of the houses. From Orta you can take a boat to the Island of San Giulio, where there is a cloistered convent and church Then there is the Sacro Monte (Sacred Mount), which is located in an extraordinary landscape, on a wooded promontory that juts out into Lake Orta. Twenty chapels surrounded by nature illustrate with sculptures and paintings episodes from the life of San Francesco, distributed along a path that winds its way up the mountain, opening up spectacular views of the lake and the Island of San Giulio.


To access Piazza Motta, the heart of the village of Orta, which overlooks the lake, it is possible to enter the limited traffic zone (ZTL) but first you need to ask for a permit at the municipal police (contacts below) or via the online procedure. There are also some reserved parking spaces for the disabled, in Largo Gorla and Via Fontana (in the ZTL), in Via Panoramica (outside the village), Via Fava and in the Prarondo and Semar car parks (near the village).
You can park in the yellow lines reserved for residents, while the blue lines are chargeable. If the driver is disabled, he/she can leave the car directly in Piazza Motta (below Hotel Orta). Please contact the Municipal Police in case of need.

Email: - pec:
Tel. +39 0322-911972 (int. 8) - cell. +39 3341067671 - cell. +39 3665408735

Via Panoramica – Orta San Giulio - Tel. +39 0322 905163

Via Curotti 36 - 28887 Omegna (VB) - Tel. +39 345 5170005 +39 329 3431378

It is advisable, if possible, to park at the beginning of Via Fava 1, so that you can reach Piazza Motta, the heart of the village of Orta, through some very characteristic streets.
All the streets in the village are cobbled and therefore quite difficult to navigate with a manual wheelchair. In the middle of the streets are stone-paved gullies (about 50 cm wide) that partially ease the task. There is no particular incline to the square.
The Piazza Motta has a stone pavement and provides excellent accessibility, there are numerous restaurants overlooking the lake and most of them are barrier-free.
The remaining part of the village is located high up, and to get there there are steps or cobbled streets with a steep incline.
From Piazza Motta it is possible to reach the Island of San Giulio by taking the boat, the pier is 60 cm wide. However, the island is not accessible as there are steps or stairs for all accesses; it is however possible to get off the boat and stop and admire Orta San Giulio from the small landing stage.
An alternative route is to arrive in Orta by boat, which also reaches and passes through the Island of San Giulio, from Pella, a village on the western shore of the lake with a pretty lakeside promenade from which to admire Orta.
The Pella pier, which is easily reached by car, is 20 metres from the car park in Via Lungolago.
This itinerary has the particularity of having more possibilities to park in comfortable areas and to avoid the cobbled streets of Orta, arriving by boat directly in Piazza Motta and admiring the island and the villages from a different point of view.
The boats of Navigazione Lago d'Orta have platforms to facilitate entry and spaces dedicated to people with disabilities.
The Navigazione Lago d'Orta boats offer cruises departing from various points on the lake and arriving as far as Omegna. Of the 12 piers, only the one at Hotel Giardinetto and those at Oira and Ronco are inaccessible, due to the fact that the villages are perched on top of each other.
About 2 km from the centre of Orta, you can reach the Sacro Monte di Orta, a monumental complex dedicated to San Francesco, located on a hill from which you can admire a splendid panorama of the lake and the island. There are 20 chapels placed in the order of the life of the "poor man of Assisi" distributed along a route where visitors can admire the frescoes, statues and the naturalistic environment.
It is possible to leave your car (with a disabled permit) inside the Reserve. The route is feasible, with an accompanying person, on beaten earth, but there are small steps, uneven ground and moderate gradients.
The accessible route is from chapel 1 to 7, and from chapel 7 to 13 to the Church of SS. Nicolao and Francesco the route goes through dirt, grass and cobbled sections.
For further information please contact the Sacri Monti - Tel. +39 0322911
An alternative to the car for getting to Sacro Monte is to take the Little train (Tel 366 4099607) departing from the square in front of the tourist office (Via Panoramica). With the Little train you can also reach Legro (a hamlet of Orta) where it is possible to admire the beautiful murals that adorn the walls of the houses having as their central theme films shot mainly on Lake Orta and in the surrounding area. Some of the murals are also inspired by fellow countryman poet Gianni Rodari.
Another place from which to admire Lake Orta and see a breathtaking panorama from above is the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Sasso, which can be accessed by car (parking near the Sanctuary). The route has a feasible gradient with the help of an experienced accompanying person.
The square in front of the church offers a panoramic view, while the sanctuary has several architectural barriers (steps).
The Sanctuary is located in Via Panoramica in Madonna del Sasso and is about 30 minutes from the centre of Orta (19 km).
For info call 032296163 -
Another way to get to the Sanctuary, with a complete panoramic tour, is to take the little train that leaves from the centre of Orta or Pella. The train is accessible but it is necessary to notify at least one day before. Sergio tel. 347 4883509 -
Finally, if you want to go on trips on the lake, during the summer UILDM Omegna organises courses and trips on a sailing boat equipped for people with disabilities. For more information contact the section on 0323/862249 (with secretariat) or by email:

The entire route is accessible for people with reduced mobility. For people using a manual wheelchair, the presence of an accompanying person is recommended.

Path maker: Fabrizio Marta - Rotex
Author of texts: Fabrizio Marta - Rotex

Light rain
Orta San Giulio
28016 - Orta San Giulio (NO)

45.802477852715, 8.4067511558533

45.802477852715, 8.4067511558533


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